It is now officially fall, or autumn to be more precise, and time to dig out those winter coats. This I know to my cost as today I dug out my coat and then spent at least 10 minutes trapped inside it in Tim Hortons coffee shop. I had somehow forgotten since last winter that if you knot the ties together at the waist then the toggles become entwined, and this will then render you completely trapped. But it’s OK, after struggling and getting hotter, sweatier and more and more embarrassed, I resolved the situation in a way that none of my observers would’ve thought twice about at all by shimmying it down to the ground and then stepping out of it, like this was a completely normal way of disrobing in a coffee shop.
But nothing, not even this display of dignity and class, could dampen my spirits as I love this time of year and I’m just happy to be wearing my coat again. I love days when it’s cold but the sun is shining and you can wrap up warm and still have to wear sunglasses. I love boots, sweaters, scarves and until today, coats. I love everything about autumn and winter. As I wandered around the city earlier today, I noticed that the trees are now definitely starting to turn and change from green to reds, yellows and browns.
And this year, I am doubly excited as I get to add a new holiday into my autumn/winter repertoire; thanksgiving!
Yes, the Canadians celebrate it too. Who knew? After taking to Wikipedia to learn more about it, I turns out that it is more a celebration of the harvest and giving thanks for the bounty of the previous year. It seems to be a day to spend with family and I will happily give thanks for that. Wikipedia also states “the history of Thanksgiving in Canada can be traced back to the 1578 voyage of Martin Frobisher from England in search of the Northwest Passage” who, it seems, on a voyage to the Frobisher Bay (probably wasn’t called that at the time, or that would’ve been one hell of a coincidence) area of Baffin Island in the Canadian Territory of Nunavut faced storms and ice and when he met back up with the rest of his fleet a preacher suggested they give thanks for their safe arrival. Whatever the reason, I am more than happy to give thanks for the things that I have been blessed with, especially when “giving thanks” actually seems to mean “eating and drinking.” And that, I can do.
This transition into autumn and my favourite time of the year has also been marked with sadness. When I left the UK in the midst of a heat wave back in July, I think I was a bit over-zealous with the clothing cull I performed. I was so proud of myself for packing up and moving 3,500 miles with only one large and one small suitcase and it didn’t even register when people asked me “is that all you have?” Now that the weather has started to turn, this morning I looked longingly at my wardrobe and remembered the wonderful jumpers, boots (3 pairs to be precise – sob), coats and scarves which only 3 months ago I put in one of those huge, blue Ikea bags and donated to Lee at my local Oxfam shop, much to his delight judging by the little jig he did when I handed it over. And I was totally fine with it at the time, feeling cleansed and ready for my adventure with a suitcase full of flip flops. But now I am not. The things I am missing the most are my brown knee high boots, my cream cable-knit sweater with the big collar and my long, grey cardigan with the waterfall hem and belt. I can only hope that they have gone to good homes and that they raised a decent amount of money for Oxfam.
So as I console myself with another cup of coffee and start to concoct a plan to replenish my wardrobe with a trip to the mall, I want to warn any of my fellow expats who are packing for the next move and my friends who might be thinking about having a clear out to consider each item carefully before you part with anything. Just because you haven’t worn it in a few months, doesn’t mean you won’t ever again. And even if you don’t wear something much anymore, one day you might want to and believe me; it would be nice to have the option.
Please, take heed, for the love of sweaters everywhere.
Today’s overheard conversation:
This didn’t go down too well with me, given that I am creeping up on my 29th birthday.
Girl: “he has really good hair given that he’s old. How old is he, exactly?”
Guy: “well, I know he’s definitely below 30 but he’s pretty close to it.”